Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Operation Sea Lion - The Hungarian 1st Army

Hello All

As you may well know WWPD are running a world wide Flames of War Campaign based on a fictional 1944 Axis invasion of Britain. As I have said in my last post on the subject I love world wide campaigns and as soon as WWPD announced the campaign I was straight onto my gaming forum coming up with ideas of what we should do with it. We decided to play out a narrative campaign about an attack on our home county of Dorset, mainly around the Bournemouth and Poole area. Once the decision was made I set about coming up with the background to my Hungarian army's invasion, (after all you need the background story and goals before you can play out a narrative) and worked on some visual aids.

To this end my goal is to create an almost historical text book report of my Hungarian army during Operation Sea Lion. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it.

The Hungarian 1st Army In Britain 1944

General Jány meets with a
German Officer in the North
of France May 1944
With the war in the East over Admiral Horthy had looked forward to consolidating his country’s spoils of war and settling down for a time of peace. His country had lost a lot of men in the fighting in Russia and he knew Hungary needed time to heal the wounds of war. This plan became nothing more than a pipe dream as reports started coming in to Admiral Horthy about German plans to invade Britain in the summer of 1944 and that Hitler expected all of his Axis partners to aid in the effect to rid Germany of its last opponent in Europe.

To start with Admiral Horthy was against such a move, after all Hungary had no real quarrel with Britain and Horthy didn’t want to see any more Hungarians killed in “Hitler’s War”. Hitler put Horthy under increasing pressure and as the other Axis leaders started supporting the enterprise the regent was left with no option to agree. He called on General Jány to form up and command the Hungarian 1st Army for operations in Britain, but made it clear that General Jány was to try and keep the Hungarian involvement to a minimum. General Jány agreed to this plan but secretly harboured plans for personally glory and saw the invasion of Britain as his last chance to add to his battle honours; this would later turn into the Hungarian 1st army taking on some of the most dangerous missions of the Battle.

A group of German and Hungarian Soldiers
in France April 1944.
As the army formed up in France and started training for the invasion General Jány was briefed on the plans. The Hungarian’s had been designated an area from Poole Harbour to Christchurch on the Southern coast of Britain. The main goals of the 1st phase was to take the beach heads, tackle the formidable defencive at Christchurch (Christchurch had been designated an "anti-tank island" in the defence plans of Britain) and then push on and take the airbases at Christchurch and Hurn to aid resupply and grant the Axis forces better air support for the following phases. Once these 1st phase plans had been achieved the Hungarians were to meet up with the German 6th Army at Bristol in a massive encirclement of the British forces in the south.

A knocked out British Cromwell Tank. The tank was
knocked out in the street fighting around  Bournemouth.
The Invasion kicked off on the 12th May 1944. The first waves of the Hungarian infantry took their initial beachheads at Bournemouth and Poole with little resistance, but at Christchurch they ran into a whole host of problems. A mix up with the landing crafts meant that most of the heavy equipment designated for the Christchurch beaches ended up on the Bournemouth and Poole beaches. What little equipment did arrive was bloody and mauled as it reached the beaches by the defences. General Jány quickly tried to regain the initiative and order the Bournemouth beachhead forces to circle around and out flank the Christchurch defences, but as they set off they ran into the 1st British Airborne Division and got bogged down in savage street fighting. General Jány realised that a quick breakthrough was not on the cards and so decided to wait for his armoured forces to arrive in the 2nd Wave.

The story will continue after my first game and will include with an AAR.

Thanks for reading Ben.


  1. That. Was. Awesome.

    Seriously! So glad you guys are into the spirit of it :)

  2. Awesome man, really excited to see how this goes!

    AKA. Arran

  3. What they said. Looking forward to see how this pans out.

  4. I love your level of detail and narrative here, your maps and picture are way cool :-)

  5. Thanks Guys. I have plans for the next few but I'll wait and do then after each game, so watch this space!

  6. Almost forgot its an alternate history campainge with that background detail :) I have a fledgling force of so far undeafeated hungarians, so heres hoping you do the maygar steel proud....

    1. Thanks Squirrel thats high prise! We I haven't lost with my Hungarians yet, but then I have only played 4 games with them.